Me and Olivia Newton-John

When I was 13 , Olivia Newton-John hit the airwaves with her song, “Let Me Be There”.  I first heard it on my little red transistor radio with the plastic ear-piece that was perpetually plugged in my right ear.
Olivia was everything I wasn’t, but wanted to be: pretty, blonde,  blue eyed and clear-skinned with excellent teeth and a cool accent.  I was mousey and hazel-eyed with Clearasil-covered acne, braces and a resulting lisp.
The one thing we DID have in common was that we could both sing.  Granted, I did MY singing in church, the shower and into a portable tape-recorder, but I had a passable voice. 
“Let Me Be There” was one of my favourites, but when Olivia followed up with “I Honestly Love You”, my teenage angst caught fire and I belted it out with so much  sensitivity, passion and devotion that I felt one day for sure, I could be the next ON-J.
We spun Olivia’s 45s on my friend Jane’s record-player. ( She bore a much closer resemblance to her than I ever could with her perfect teeth, baby-blues and long blonde locks.)  We would dance around her family room and sing our hearts out.
I followed Olivia’s career for some time.  When she appeared in “Grease” alongside John Travolta, I didn’t see the movie over and over for JT. No way!  I was there to see my Olivia swooning in her poodle skirt and saddle-shoes.  I still know all the words to “Hopelessly Devoted”. In fact, I was a bit miffed at the sleazy transformation they imposed on my pure Olivia at the end of the movie.
I stuck with her when she starred in “Xanadu” as a roller-blader.  I still love her in that one and in my opinion, “Magic” is a great song that is highly under-rated.  She was so beautiful in that movie.
When the video for “Physical” came out in 1981, I started sporting headbands, leg-warmers and torn t-shirts.  I still didn’t look like Olivia, but at least the braces were gone and I had graduated to contact lenses instead of bulky horn-rims.
I knew that ON-J had her own store, Koala Blue in Australia. I knew when she got married. I kept pretty good tabs on her for a number of years, but when she did the movie “Two of a Kind” with Travolta again,  I knew my love for her had died.
Besides, I couldn’t really explain an Olivia obsession when I was decked out in black and going through my vampire-phase, could I? She just didn’t have enough bite.
Kat Mortensen©2010  Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


One thought on “Me and Olivia Newton-John

  1. I didn't see Two of a Kind. I still think she has a beautiful voice and I wish we saw more of her.Whatever happened of her partner who disappeared?I'd love to hear you sing, Kat.


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